It’s the deconstructed version of the jalapeño poppers appetizer – but this pasta dish with a spicy kick is even more delicious! You’ll stir in three types of cheese to make a gooey sauce and add bacon ... need we say more?
- Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
- Meanwhile, cook bacon in batches in a large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon to a paper towel to drain; reserving 2 tablespoons bacon drippings. When cool enough to handle, crumble bacon. Measure 2 tablespoons bacon; set aside.
- Sauté jalapeño peppers in butter and reserved bacon drippings in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp-tender. Reduce heat to medium-low. Whisk in flour until combined. Gradually whisk in milk and salt. Bring to a boil; cook and whisk for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat to low; gradually stir in cream cheese, colby-jack and cheddar until melted. Add pasta, bacon and cayenne pepper to taste; heat through, stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat. Sprinkle pasta mixture with reserved bacon.
Any brand of Wisconsin cream cheese, colby-jack or mild cheddar cheese can be used.
Colby-jack, or co-jack, is a cheese that’s created when colby and monterey jack curds are combined. The cheese is semi-hard and has a mild flavor. With its two-toned color, colby-jack makes a lovely addition to a fruit and cheese platter.